Structural Change in Fiscal Policy and The Permanence of Fiscal Contractions - The Case of Denmark and Ireland
Instead of relying on descriptive statistics to evaluate the permanence of a fiscal contraction, this paper suggests that this issue should be studied using tests for structural breaks in cointegrating relationships between taxes and spending. We label a fiscal contraction as 'permanent' if a structural break is detected during the contraction period. Applying Gregory and Hansen's (1996) test on Danish and Irish data and find that the fiscal contraction in Ireland (1987-1989) induced a structural change in fiscal policy while the results from the Danish data do not imply such a regime shift. We discuss possible explanations for this finding
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